Boca Raton Rental News & Updates

Property managers busy as rental market surges


By Hui-yong Yu - Bloomberg, Photograph by Daniel Acker - Bloomberg

Meg McKennon’s workload has surged since the Seattle real estate agent switched to managing residential properties. Now she gets paid for finding tenants instead of buyers -- an easier task as rentals soar.

"In the past two months, my business probably came close to tripling," said McKennon, who started management company Dwellings Seattle Real Estate in 2010 after selling houses for 15 years.

When a couple moved out of a two-bedroom house managed by McKennon in August, before the lease was up, she increased the monthly rent by $200 to $1,900 -- and still had her pick of applicants. "I could have rented it 10 times over," she said.

Renters Should Be Sprinters


By Joseph Plambeck - NY Times, Photograph by Brian Cronin - NY Times

AT first blush, it doesn’t make much sense: If you know you’ll need an apartment in New York in several months, why can’t you start a serious search now, rather than wait until your move-in date is just a few weeks away?

The short window of opportunity for an apartment hunt is a fact of life in the city. In large part, it’s a function of limited supply and high demand — landlords believe that the greater the number who see an apartment, the more rent it can command. And renters may not want to commit ahead of time, fearful of missing out on something better or cheaper.

Unfortunately, it’s not likely that renters will be able to conduct a long, leisurely search for an apartment anytime soon. Rents in the city are near historic highs, and vacancies are on the scarce side, whether in new rentals or condominium towers or prewar co-ops. The timeline is a few weeks longer for rentals in condos and co-ops. But first, the strategies for maximizing opportunities in rental-only buildings once the window is open:

Renting Your Home? 7 Things You Need to Know


By Kathryn Tuggle - FOXBusiness

Facing a down economy and uncertain housing market, many homeowners are looking to make extra cash by renting out rooms in their homes,

According to Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies 2011 report, “recession-induced income and job losses have forced many former homeowners to turn to renting…many more owners will become renters in the coming years, and will remain so for some time as they build savings and reestablish their credit ratings."

The study shows that from 2006 to 2010, the number of renter households rose annually by 692,000 to reach 37 million last year, an all-time high. Likewise, the number of owner households dropped by 201,000 annually during the same period.

Canadians eye cheap Florida real estate


By Susan Pigg - The Star

Joe Waddell got the best cross-border bargain of his life last year — a three-bedroom, 1,700-square-foot condo for just under $120,000 (U.S.).

The Fort Myers property is just 15 minutes from southwest Florida’s gulf beaches, within an easy drive of Miami nightlife and, better yet, about two hours from Disney World.

But Waddell, 45, his wife and 11-year-old daughter won’t actually be using their sun-and-sand getaway for a few more years.

Eviction entrepreneurs on the rise in South Florida


By Adam H. Beasely, Miami Herald 

Aiming to cash in when the housing boom was at its peak, Karel Gonzalez got a real estate license in May 2005. Then came the crash, and he let it go inactive. Now, he makes money not by putting people into homes, but by booting them out.

Gonzalez, 35, a Miami entrepreneur, scratches out a living in the evictions industry. But Gonzalez isn’t a licensed attorney or a sheriff’s deputy. He is part of an enterprising group of legal free agents, sworn notaries who for a cut-rate rate help toss out deadbeat renters.

The number of local tenants removed has increased for two straight years, said Sgt. Mitchell Kogod of the Broward Sheriff’s Office — whose department receives about 400 eviction requests each week.

Two real estate reports suggest Fla. rebound


CHICAGO – Nov. 17, 2011 – Two national studies – one from and one from Trulia – suggest that some Florida markets are poised for a real estate rebound.

This is a positive trend for Florida,” says John Tuccillo, Florida Realtors chief economist. “While Trulia and aren’t completely accurate in home prices and sales – mainly because they base their numbers on only homes listed on their website – it’s useful to look at visitor behavior and note the trends. If Trulia says more visitors are doing a home search in the Miami market, for example, it probably follows that Miami is experiencing an upswing in demand.”

In’s “Top Ten Turnaround Report,” six Florida cities were considered good bets for an upswing in sales., which is owned by The National Association of Realtors®, says it created a formula to rank a city’s turnaround potential based on recent price appreciation, changes in inventory, median age of inventory, number of searches by visitors and area unemployment.

Court: Owner never had legal ownership of foreclosure


BOSTON – Oct. 21, 2011 – A Massachusetts court ruling applies only to residents of that state, but the case focuses on another legal problem from the robo-signing foreclosure scandal.

In the case, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that a homeowner who had purchased a home in foreclosure did not have legal ownership of the property and therefore could not resell it. The reason: The bank failed to properly process the title when foreclosing on it.

“The decision by the Supreme Judicial Court casts a cloud over the legal ownership of any properties in Massachusetts where banks didn’t properly convey title when foreclosing,” The Wall Street Journal says in its article about the case. “The problem has gained attention nationwide because of banks’ use of ‘robo-signing’ and other dubious practices that may have broken chains of title on foreclosures.”

Foreigners’ sweetener: Buy house, get a visa


WASHINGTON – Oct. 21, 2011 – Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have proposed a new type of resident visa for foreigners who spend at least $500,000 to purchase real estate in the United States. The proposal calls for at least $250,000 to be spent on a residence, while the other $250,000 could be invested in other real estate. However, the entire amount must be a cash investment.

The provision, part of a larger package of immigration measures, would complement existing visa programs that permit foreigners to enter the country if they invest in new businesses that create jobs.

Supporters believe the initiative would help absorb a glut of housing supply – especially in markets like Arizona and South Florida, where foreign buyers have represented a rising share of home buying activity. According to National Association of Realtors® (NAR) research, 5.5 percent of Miami homes sell to international buyers.

UF: Florida real estate markets slip


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Aug. 11, 2011 – Economic worries and continued acrimony among lawmakers have claimed yet another casualty: The outlook for real estate markets in Florida declined slightly through the second quarter of 2011, according to the University of Florida’s “Survey of Emerging Market Conditions,” conducted quarterly by the Kelley A. Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies at the Warrington College of Business Administration.

“Uncertainty in the direction of the economy and the political gridlock in Washington weighed on respondents’ minds,” said Tim Becker, director of the Bergstrom Center. “This prevents companies – making record profits – from investing in personnel. Consumers, uneasy about their own jobs and the slow economic growth, continue to limit spending, which drives a significant portion of gross domestic product. Resolution to the government spending issues in the short and mid-term would help provide more certainty to the marketplace – and is a needed component for meaningful improvement in the real estate markets.”

Those doubts affected UF’s Commercial Real Estate Sentiment Index, which declined for the first time since the third quarter of 2009, and high unemployment figures played a role in that decline.